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Rugby World Cup chaos as typhoon cancels two fixtures and threatens pivotal game in Ireland's pool



As a result, the organizers have canceled Saturday's final Pool B and C fixtures between Italy and New Zealand and England and France, with both games being declared nil-all draws – handing two points a piece to the teams.

The final match at Ireland's pool, Japan's pivotal clash with Scotland on Sunday, is being monitored with a decision being taken on the morning of the game.

Games fixed for the southern part of Japan, where Ireland is stationed on the island of Kyushu, will go ahead as usual.

If Ireland beat Samoa with a bonus point on Saturday, it will matter what happens in the next match but if they come up with four points or less they will be monitoring events in Yokohama closely.

If the match is canceled, Japan and Scotland will score two match points each. The hosts would then score 16 points and top the pool, but the Scots would only get to 12. That would leave them facing an exit unless Ireland came out of the Samoa match empty handed.



Rugby Union - Rugby World Cup - World Rugby Update on preparations for Typhoon Hagibis - Tokyo, Japan - October 10, 2019 World Rugby Chief Operating Officer and Tournament Director Alan Gilpin during the press conference REUTERS / Matthew Childs

Rugby Union – Rugby World Cup – World Rugby Update on preparations for Typhoon Hagibis – Tokyo, Japan – October 10, 2019 World Rugby Chief Operating Officer and Tournament Director Alan Gilpin during the press conference REUTERS / Matthew Childs

A cancellation combined with Ireland getting at least one point would mean Ireland take on New Zealand in the quarter-final on Saturday week.

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Italy has already been eliminated as a result of the postponement.

Unlikely as it was, they had an opportunity to qualify for the quarter-finals by beating New Zealand with a bonus point on Saturday but that chance is now gone.

That means the All Blacks top Pool B on 16 points, with South Africa second on 15. England will win Pool C with 17 points, with France second on 15.

If Scotland are eliminated based on the cancellation there will be a far greater upside, as they have a real chance of winning a spot in the quarter-finals if they beat Japan.

World Rugby say the match will not be relocated or rescheduled, meaning it must take place on Sunday.

It is understood that the Scots fully expect their game to be played in Yokohama, even if it takes place behind closed doors.

Anything less would bring competition's integrity into question.

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"This is a complex and dynamic situation that we have been monitoring very closely with the assistance of our weather information experts," said tournament director Alan Gilpin at a press conference in Tokyo this morning.

"We are now in a position to accurately predict the likely impact of Typhoon Hagibis on Rugby World Cup fixtures this weekend.

"While making every effort to put in place a contingency plan that will enable all of Saturday's matches to be played, it will be extremely irresponsible to leave teams, fans, volunteers and other tournament personnel exposed during what is predicted to be a severe typhoon.

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“As a result, we have taken the decision to cancel some matches in order to ensure the safety of all involved. It is the right thing to do, and it comes with the support of all stakeholders, including the teams.

“We fully appreciate that England, France, New Zealand and Italy fans will be disappointed, but we trust that their safety must come first. They will be entitled to a full refund on their match tickets.

"Our message to all fans in Japan for the Rugby World Cup is to have all the official advice, stay indoors throughout Saturday and make no attempt to travel on the day."

Online Editors


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